“I’m passionate about rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the government.”

Comer Lays Out His Priorities for the House Oversight Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – With Election Day in sight, The Ripon Society held a breakfast discussion yesterday with one Republican leader on Capitol Hill who is preparing for a possible GOP majority in the House next year. That leader is U.S. Rep. James Comer (KY-1), who hopes to be tapped as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“We’re still very optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that we’re going to flip the House,” Comer stated. “I do believe that history is on our side with the midterm elections when it comes to what happens to the President’s party in Congress. This president is not exceptional, and I don’t think that there’s anything that they can change over the next sixty days that’s going to tilt things in their direction.”

As Chairman, Comer would direct the Oversight Committee’s resources to focus on investigating mismanagement within the federal government – something he says has been neglected under Democrat control.

“There has been absolutely zero oversight of this Administration or any type of Congressional spending. Zero oversight. For the past four years, including as we speak, the only ‘oversight’ has been over Donald Trump and harassing the private sector.

“I’m passionate about rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the government. I believe that somebody in Washington needs to have the backs of the taxpayers. The taxpayers are being fleeced, and not just by the Biden Administration. This has been ongoing for decades here. We cannot continue down the path of spending this deficit spending, where we’re spending significantly more than we’re taking in.”

According to Comer, there are three areas that the Committee will focus much of its energy on when Republicans gain back control.

“We’re going to have some very high-profile investigations right out of the gate in a Republican majority in January. One of the areas that’s received the most attention is the Biden family investigation. I have said for months that we believe Hunter Biden is a national security risk. I have been saying lately that it’s not just Hunter Biden, it’s also members of the Biden family… Hunter Biden has had 150 Suspicious Activity Reports filed from numerous banks.”

Comer said that a bank files a Suspicious Activity Report when they suspect illegal activity related to the account. These reports were created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to flag suspicious foreign transactions. Law enforcement has since expanded the scope of these reports to include suspicion of other illicit activities.

“Under Bush, Obama, and Trump, any member of Congress could acquire these Suspicious Activity Reports. But, when Joe Biden came in, he changed some rules – a lot of rules. One of the rules he changed is that Congress no longer has access to these reports.

“It didn’t get any media attention at the time because of all his executive orders, including cancelling the Keystone Pipeline and halting the construction of the border wall. So, this didn’t receive any print… This will be a very high-profile hearing, and I think that it’ll be very informative, and very damaging for this Administration.”

The second investigation Comer hopes to lead in the next Congress is the origination of COVID-19.

“Our committee is the one that unearthed the emails that showed initially that Dr. Fauci’s earliest advisors, in February/March of 2020, had emailed him saying, ‘Look, this is obviously a manmade virus and so it had to come from the Wuhan lab, because that’s what we’re doing down there. We’re investing, we’re researching COVID viruses and things like that.’

“Then, after that, they spoke through phone calls. They never emailed again. Those early advisors then signed off on a memo that said, ‘Anybody that thinks this is a lab leak is a conspiracist.’ That’s what they told the Trump Administration from that point on when we should have been rolling in there to try to figure out what was going on in that lab.”

Finally, Comer says that he wants the Committee to look at how the Biden Administration has been handling the situation at the Southern Border.

“I’ve led two trips to the border with the Republicans on the Oversight Committee. It’s mind boggling what’s going on. To hear the Vice President of United States say to Chuck Todd that we have a secured border, that is probably the most dishonest thing that has ever been uttered by anyone in the Administration.

“We cannot continue to allow this fentanyl that’s pouring across the border. We cannot continue to pay to transport, house, provide healthcare, cell phones, and public education for all of these illegal immigrants coming across that border. It has to stop and we’re going to do everything in our ability to see that that happens in a Republican majority.”

Comer then took a number of questions from the audience, including which federal agencies he believes need the most oversight next year.

“There are some that are worse than others. EPA is always going to be at the top of the list, for a million reasons. Then you have agencies like the FDA. We have met with many medical device manufacturers that are very frustrated because the FDA is very far behind on that. There are food companies that are very frustrated with FDA. We have pharmaceutical companies, medical companies that are very disappointed in the FDA.

“We are frustrated with the FDA from a sense that they’re holding progress back. They’re not on schedule and we’re going to have the FDA in front of the committee early on, to talk about it.”

Comer continued.

“Every Member of Congress that has to deal with the Army Corps of Engineers will tell you that is the worst. They’re in the military, so they, for whatever reason, can get away with a lot of things. They’re probably the reason earmarks are coming back because they do not comply with the orders from Congress, appropriation requests, and things like that.

“There’s also a high level of frustration with quality of public education and the Department of Education. It’s not just that the teachers’ unions kept a lot of inner-city schools shut down way too long, and it’s not just CRT and all that. It’s the results that are coming out of our public education system that is the issue.”

To view Comer’s remarks at yesterday’s breakfast discussion, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.